The Issue: Too much discrepancy between the power of each ranged weapon. BH is super powerful with Crossbow and Volley Crossbow and can easily sustain his ammo with these two weapons without utilizing Melee Kill Reload (at zero ammo), while Brace of Pistols and Repeater are much less powerful and require either utilizing Melee Kill Reload for ammo sustain or greatly limiting the consumption of ammo.
In my opinion, this issue can’t be resolved within the current framework, so it requires changing said framework.
Blessed Shots (passive)
Current version: Guaranteed ranged critical hit every 10 seconds.
Suggested version: Guaranteed ranged critical hit every X seconds (depending on the equipped ranged weapon). Ranged critical hits no longer occur randomly.
Values of X: ~10 for Crossbow, ~10 for Volley Crossbow, ~6 for Repeater, ~4 for Brace of Pistols.
Why this change? Different weapons scale differently with crits, and gain different amount of ammo on crits with Scrounger. Tweaking individual cooldown for each weapon will allow the devs to better balance these weapons for BH. Removal of random crits will further help with making ammo sustain more controlled. Crit Chance on gear will only affect melee weapons, but the player will have an option to pick a “reset ranged crit cooldown upon scoring a melee crit” talent.
Why such a low cooldown for Repeater? Repeater consumes 8 shots with its alt-fire (shotgun blast), and due to being a hit-scan weapon it only replenishes 3 rounds with an alt-fire crit, even if all pellets hit. This means that the player will be forced to use Prize Bounty talent if they want to utilize the alt-fire. Unlike the Repeater, Volley Crossbow spends 3 shots with alt fire and replenishes 9 shots with a crit, so it has a naturally higher ammo sustain.
Lvl 10 talents
Last Shot Power (gain attack speed upon firing last shot)
Replace with the current version of Weapon Swap Buff talent (buff melee damage by scoring ranged hits and vice versa)
Why? I don’t think the minigame of “spend all ammo to get a buff then kill an elite to get a little ammo” works well in Vermintide. In clutch situations, that’s just too much micromanagement – you’ll often end up facing two Gutter Runners while having zero ammo. The Weapon Swap Buff talent creates interesting gameplay and should be a good alternative to other talents in this row. The original spot of this talent will be freed in order to add the “reset ranged crit CD upon scoring a melee crit” talent.
Lvl 20 talents
Weapon Swap Buff
Replace with a new talent: Upon scoring a melee crit, reset the cooldown of Blessed Shots
Why? This will let the player further reinforce the synergy between melee and ranged, in conjunction with the Melee Kill Reload talent.
Current Version: Reduce the cooldown of Blessed Shots to 6 seconds.
Suggested Version: Reduce the cooldown of Blessed Shots by ~35%.
Lvl 25 talents
Melee Kill Reload
Current version: Killing an elite while out of ammo restores 20% of max ammo. Each melee kill reloads one round into your ranged weapon’s clip
Suggested version: Each melee kill reloads ~25% of your ranged weapon’s clip (but at least 1)
Why? I suggest removing the ammo sustain mechanics from this talent because of the reasons stated above (too inconvenient, and often there will be no elites in sight when you need ammo, especially during Lord fights). The ammo sustain mechanic will be moved to a lvl. 30 talent. Changing the reload mechanics to restore a percentage of the clip rather than 1 round will make it more effective on weapons other than Crossbow.
Lvl 30 talents
Current version: Permanently increase ult cooldown rate upon killing a “marked” target.
Suggested version: Replenish ~20% of max ammo upon scoring a headshot with your ult.
Why? The current implementation of Bounty Hunt doesn’t work very well and many players don’t find it fun. I suggest turning it into “additional ammo sustain” talent that shouldn’t feel mandatory – players can take this talent if they are struggling to sustain their ammo through Blessed Shots / Scrounger, otherwise they can take a talent that brings extra power.
Current version: Fires twice and restores 40% cooldown upon headshot.
Suggested version: keep it the same but fix it so that it never restores more than 40% cooldown.
Why? This talent has always been dominant. Changing the effective CDR from 80% to 40% will make this talent less effective against bosses.
Current version: Fire a shotgun blast that pierces shields and gets more powerful with each use.
Suggested version: Fire a shotgun blast that pierces shields and is similar in power to a Blunderbuss shot. Reduce the base cooldown to ~20 seconds.
Why? The only advantage a shotgun blast ult might have against a sniper shot ult is if it can be effectively used to kill hordes. And for that application, it has to have a low enough cooldown. You give up sniping, oneshotting Chaos Warriors and heavily damaging/staggering bosses for that, so it should be fair.
That’s it, thanks for reading!